In this depressive day and age it is unfortunately hard to find much to like about national Japanese politics and very few politicians that stand out as dependable and likable. On the other hand, there are quite a few rubs me the wrong way when they show up on the news... Without further ado, here comes the list of the top three Japanese politicians that I despise the most!
|Maria is cuter|
The reason why Ozawa makes the top of the list is a combination of things. First of all, he both look and act the part of the archetype of an old Japanese career politician. The type that milks it for all it's worth and working more to make his way up the ladder than serving the people that elected him in the first place. Although his path to power has been littered with minor scandals and accusations of embezzlement in various forms, he has managed to dodge the bullet every single time and weasel his way back into the top layer of Japanese politics.
In more recent times, he made the news often due to his opposition to the new leadership of the DPJ after the resignation of Hatoyama. From what I can understand, there was no lack of backstabbing and scheming from either camp inside the DPJ but I still find it highly distasteful that a senior official in a party publicly goes against the party leadership, particularly post the March 2011 earthquake disaster when unification was needed the most. Of course one should not stay in a party if one's belief in the policy is gone, but the correct way to do things is to voice criticisms internally and then resign if the situation is not possible to affect. This is what Ozawa did (finally, about at least a year too late) when he finally left the DPJ with his homies and created the awfully named new party.
But I guess the main reason why I dislike Ozawa is his smug face. The small redeeming factor here was that when I googled for "Ozawa" images in Japanese 99.9% of the hits that came up was from famous half-Japanese porn-star Maria Ozawa which was easier on the eye than Ichiro Ozawa's smug face.
|He's PISSED OFF because he's right and everyone else are ALWAYS WRONG|
I stopped watching the show as the focus started to shift from actual cases to more and more ridiculous scenarios and larger focus on the celebrity guests. The times it was on when I flipped through the channels I quickly got annoyed by Shimada's overbearing presence and moved on to the next channel. In the show, I did not particularly despise Hashimoto, he actually seemed quite reasonable although a bit annoying. For a few years I did not see or hear anything about Hashimoto until he became Mayor of the second largest city in Japan; Osaka.
To his credit, I should at least give him that he's not a typical career politician from a family of politicians and I do get the impression that he at least tries to act in the best interest of the voters. Some people also seem to appreciate that he's very outspoken, (relatively) young and different compared to the old-school politicians in Japan.
As I do not live in Osaka and therefore his policies does affect me very little and I have very little detailed insight nor interest in those.
The reason why he comes so high in the ranking is his extremely obnoxious attitude in press conferences and how condescending and self righteous he behaves. There seem to be some strong inferior complex at work and I find it very hard to trust people like that. He has been surrounded by some minor controversies around his policies, the most recent his aggressive condemnation of people with tattoo's working as officials of the city of Osaka. I can personally understand the reasoning why it might not be suitable to have tattoo's in some positions in Japan where tattoo's still are quite strongly associated with organised crime and delinquency, but the way he basically branded everyone with tattoo's as a lower form of people in his press conference before he launched an investigation of the state of the bodies of the city officials in Osaka just felt very badly handled.
|Would you buy a car from him?|
So why do I despise Koizumi Jnr then? Well, he just comes off as an attention seeking career politician. Every line he says when interviewed comes off as being rehearsed beforehand (which, on the other hand, when considering some of the more outrageous things that many major Japanese politicians has thrown out during interviews might not be such a bad thing after all...), including pause for increased drama and a more general self-righteous attitude just rubs me the wrong way. Also, that he is for sure groomed for major positions in the future due to his politican lineage just feels wrong to me...
|If you read Japanese this is even more amusing|
So why does he not get a higher position in this ranking? Well, I think that most people know that he is a bit of a loon and just tend to disregard that part of him. The only reason I can see for him being reelected last year was that the people of Tokyo felt more comfortable with the Devil they knew than any of the newcomers that ran against him. I also think that there's a feeling of "Sure, he's a loon, but he's our loon!".